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Vibra Training- How it works and how it can help fitness in your 50s

Guest Article by Glen Tucker
What are the alternatives to traditional workouts with weights? If, like me, you hate the gym, but want to stay in shape and ensure you don’t lose bone density- always a consideration for women over 50, are there other options?Madonna, Elle McPherson, Dannii Minogue and Maureen Lipman are all said to be fans  of vibra training, so we asked Glen Tucker of Esporta Health Clubs if Vibra Training was something which should be considered as a form of exercise by women over 50.

What is Vibra Training?

Vibra training has become an ever more popular form of exercise over the last few years and although you may see many using it you may not know how it works and how it can add to your fitness, well here’s some tips on how to do just that.
To begin with Vibra training is a type of whole body vibration (WBV) training, which uses a platform-based machine. It is as simple as standing on the platform to work the lower body and to work the upper body you place your hands or arms on the handles of the apparatus. You then can set various settings for frequency and time depending on what you are looking to achieve from its use.
Vibra training can work better than many other types of resistance training due to its higher use of muscle fibres to perform the exercise. Standard forms of resistance training such as using free weights, doing push ups or using a resistance machine will only make use of between 40 and 60% of muscle fibres whereas when using a vibration plate almost 100% of muscle fibres are used.
As more muscle fibres are used this increases the benefit of the stretch or reflex in the muscles and can lead to better results than standard training methods. This is achieved by creating a constant stretch or reflex on the muscles known as a tonic stretch/ reflex as opposed to other methods that work more or less at different points. The tonic stretch or reflex created by Vibra training means that the muscles contract at a high frequency and force which in turn makes muscular strength increase faster.

Faster recovery times

Using a Vibra trainer can also prove effective in giving faster recovery times after a work out or an injury. This occurs because the vibration from the machine causes substantial increases in blood flow to working muscles and the surrounding tissue. As blood flows through areas it flushes out waste products and helps to provide oxygen and nutrients required for repair to the worked or injured muscles.
Vibra training can also greatly benefit a weights training programme as the vibration plate helps to work muscles even harder without making weights harder to lift by increasing the contractions of muscle twitch fibres.

Vibra – the machine does the work for you!

If you are not a fitness fanatic Vibra training can still be a great choice for you too as the machine does the work for you allowing you to stand and work your muscles and have a break from the runner that is still beneficial to your health.
Vibration training was first developed forty years ago by Russian scientists to use as part of their space programme. As the lack of gravity in space leads to muscle wastage and a decrease in bone mineral density they were looking at a way that this could be counteracted and vibration training limits the process and therefore allows astronauts to stay in space for longer.
But these effects are also great for anyone trying to stay in good shape and in more recent times this has been seized upon by the fitness industry who have used the technology to benefit health and fitness training with many now starting to reap the benefits of Vibra training why don’t you give it a go.

Glenn Tucker
Esporta Health Clubs

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